I just bought a tenon jig for my 12" General Table Saw. It seems pretty
straight forward except when cutting a tenon on a standard saw blade you
either have to reset the jig after one cut on each side or cut the cheek
off with a cross cut. Either way it seems like a lot of fussing,
particularly when you usually want to do several tenons at a time.
Can a tenoner be used with a dado blade so you can set it up once and
cut each side of the tenon in one pass? Am I missing something here?
Thanks in advance for any assistance on this or other tips on efficient
use of a tenon jig.
Yes...need set of spacers and duplicate blades. Delta sells a fairly
Do all cuts at one time for all tenons, then cut the shoulders. And, as
you note, unless there are a fair number of the same size, it may be
quicker to cut them by hand...
Don't know which jig you bought, either. I've not been particularly
impressed w/ any of the present roughly $100 ones from Delta, Jet, PM,
etc... I was lucky and found one of the old heavy Delta's some time
back. They're still available but are in the $300 range new...but have
the mass to be really stable.
You don't need to spend big bucks on special blades or tenon jigs. The
blades I use are circular saw blades with some blade stabilizers as spacers.
With my double blade setup I am limited to tenons not much greater than 2
1/2 " in length.
Well, you snipped to change the meaning significantly...I pointed out to
him that Delta supplies a set of spacers but that they are pricey,
<assuming> that would be taken as not <a good thing> (tm)...
Then, you snipped the reference to the particular jig he bought which
makes it clear I was making a personal statement that I hadn't been very
happy w/ the ~$100 jigs and again making it clear that I think the price
for the heavy Delta is also too much...and mentioned that I was lucky to
find one for myself some time ago (and paid a pittance for it)...
Other than that, no problem... :)
Yep. You need to make a spacer to match the size tenon you want. Orient
the wood so that one face is always the reference (inside or outside of
piece). All of your tenons will be sized perfectly no matter how the wood
varies in thickness. You can make the spacer out of wood, or take your
favorite motise chisel (hand or power) to a machinist along with the two
outside dado blades and get a spacer made from aluminum, brass, nylon, etc.
Delta used to sell these in a set.
The standard method is to adjust the tenon jig so you only have to
flip the board over to make the second cut. I don't like this method
because it uses both faces of the board for reference. I much prefer
using a single face and referencing all cuts off the one surface (less
dependent on any variation in thicknesses).
The two blade spacer method works well. I used a circle cutter to cut
a 3/8 inch thick piece of Plexiglas (left over from a router table
insert I made) and used this as a spacer between two equal diameter
blades. I have used outside stacking dado blades and two 10 inch
crosscut blades. I was concerned about matching the blades but it
turns out this is not that critical since your cheek cuts will set the
depth of the tenon, as long as the blades are similar diameter you'll
Another technique which I've read about but haven't used yet is to
make a spacer that is equal to the thickness of your tenon plus the
thickness of the blade. This is easy to do if you have a thickness
planer. Then make one set of tenon cuts without the spacer then make
the next set of cuts with the spacer with the same side of your
workpiece facing your tenon jig. I like this technique because you
don't have to change blades and you are always using the same side of
the workpiece for a reference edge.
In both of these cases save the spacers, they'll come in handy when
you need to cut tenons again.
It was a King tenon jig, but surprisingly heavy and appears to be very
precise and well-made. A special price of $69 Canadian at All-in-one
tools right near Home Depot in Mississauga, Ontario. Where are are you
My General TS is an older model and the slide on the jig is easily
adaptable to my slot that is 3/4 inch.
Pat Barber wrote:
When making custom furniture there are a few basic rules that will
always help in ways that are always surprising.
Rule 1, always cut things very very square.
Rule 2, always mill all of your stock to the exact same thinkness as a
group, ie 4/4, 5/4, etc. with plenty of extra as a starting point.
Now, when cutting tenons with a jig on the TS use some scrap (of the
exact thickness of final piececs) and setup jig so using a dado blade
with two passes (cut, flip, cut) you create a tenon, (exactly centered
automaticially) of the appropriate thickness. You'll need to use a
backer to keep from blowing out the backside.
Yes, cut the shoulders by hand, or router. I use the router table with
a fence. Lay the piece face down and up against the fence and push it
straight into a bang or spiral cutter. Just take an 1/8th or so and it
works ver nice. I setup a stop about an 1/8th in short of the shoulder
and chisel out the last little bit. Can do the same with the TS and a
sacrifice fence with daod or no casrifice and regular blade set 1/16th
from the fence, but I don't like backing off of the TS blade and harder
to stop, although you can setup a stop outside the blade. Looks
dangerous though, so that's always my first clue.
Now when you set your mortises in the exact location you desire, you
know exactly where the face of your stock will be as long as you work
everything off of centerlines. And knowing you have exactly square
faces, everthing sucks up real nice.
This is all opinion of course.
A setup like that is shown on p325 of Rogowski's book on Joinery. Book say
"This can be a heavy cut, so make sure the blade is sharp and that the work
is clamped in tightly. Also check to see that the dado blade makes a nice
flat shoulder cut with no sawtooth marks to mar the shoulder."
The book doesn't say so, but it seems like the main problems might be if
your dado set isn't perfectly flat on the cut (giving a nonsquare
shoulder), or if the dado produces tearout on the edge of the shoulder.
Not in Washington state, or maybe not. Our governor's race was certified
today with the hand re-count of the entire state, after a machine recount
(only 42 votes difference on that one or the first one, don't even
remember now). We now have a different governor by 120+ votes; the loser,
of course, who didn't want the machine recount that he also won and didn't
want the hand recount now wants a re-vote since he lost the hand recount!
Guess it depends on which side of "won" one is.<g> (Oh, if the republican
candidate won, the democratic party had to pay for the hand recount, since
the democrats requested the hand recount; but if the democratic candidate
won, the republicans had to pay for it.)
Comment was made by the camp of our new governor (based on the
hand-recount) that this shows we are no Florida (paraphrasing there).
Nope, the election may not be over, well not this one anyway, not yet.
The republicans have until late January to contest it as our now-formerly
elected republican governor will not accept that he is not governor as of
today. What a mess!!!
Wonder if either our not-now-elected republican male governor or our
now-elected democrat female governor is a woodworker.
Ain't that the truth?!!! Too bad there isn't one that can override the
the human factor, but then we'd likely complain there's no humanity in it.
Aren't we humans a weird lot?
(nicely) or sit quietly until they did. Suppose we could get them to
co-govern? I'm betting there are folks who wish Locke had waited to start
his family and was still governor, if only so this mess wasn't happening.
What would one call an elected official, officials in this case, comprised
of a democrat and a republican? democan comes to mind but that sounds
much like garbage can where the entire mess belongs. I must admit that I
was looking forward to Nov. 3 when it was all over. Naive, naive me.
Politics would be more palatable if the politicians were to have a good
hobby that produces something, like woodworking, boat building, gardening,
painting, knitting, sewing, etc., which might make them more satisfied
with themselves and not so like-they-are, or such is my opinion.
Moving away from all of that. Would masonite be a good choice for the
bottom "layer" of a circular saw guide for plywood? I went to HD last
night to get some (forgot it when I was at the lumber store yesterday
getting the other stuff and had a truck available) but they couldn't cut
it for me so it didn't come home with me (I have a Toyota Prius, first
generation so not a hatchback, and it'd have to stick out the front
window). It would have been cut one piece to 18" wide for the 8-foot
piece and the rest cut down to a bit less than four feet so it'd fit in
the car. I've gotten rather good recently at knowing what size wood has
to be to fit in my car, and how much of it will fit. <g> Oh, a 32" tall
by 36" long by 12" deep bookshelf will fit, barely (that was a two-trip
gift since it was one of a pair).
Not having a pickup stinks sometimes!
(but I *do* love my Prius)
Good! I called Parr Lumber today to be sure they had some and that they
would cut it, only they call it pressed hardboard. Either way I go,
masonite or hardboard, the store I go to calls it the other. No wonder I
never know for certain which to call it. It seemed prudent to look at it
before buying so a trip to the warehouse then back to the cash register.
Tomorrow, after all have gone home after dinner, I will make the guide,
two actually, one 4-feet and one 8-feet. I don't want to even think about
all the years I marked the cutting line, measured over for my guide,
clamped it in place and cut. I had two straight mahogany 1x2 pieces that
were marked all over "Straight Edge" so neither my ex or I would use them
for something else. Worked great, however, I didn't take great care with
them when I moved here to keep them absolutely straight. It's supposed to
be in the 20s at night and barely above freezing this next week so all my
garage work will need to be done tomorrow night and Sunday.
It will be nice to just set the guide down by the cutting line, clamp and
saw (and know it's in the right place!).
Sometimes we overlook the obvious.
It is 1/4", the 1/8" looked too thin, hope that was the right choice.
Is pressed hardboard and masonite the same thing or is it like scallions
and green onions, almost alike but different? (Or is masonite actually a
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